A man who went missing on Cypress Mountain, located north of Vancouver, British Columbia, has been located after walking off the mountain on his own this morning.
North Shore Rescue in North Vancouver, British Columbia had been asking the public for any information available on the whereabouts of a man who disappeared in the area of Mount Strachan near the Cypress Mountain Ski Area sometime after 5 p.m. Saturday evening, according to Global News.
The man was reported to have been snowshoing in the area with a black and tan-colored husky/shepherd mix weighing about 40 pounds. The man was described as weighing about 175 pounds, wearing an orange jacket and black pants, as well as carrying a blue backpack.
“The weather is marginal and conditions are such that time is of the essence,” a statement on the North Shore Rescue website read. “Please share this post widely with your friends/family/acquaintances, and if you or they have seen something, contact the police immediately.”
The missing snowshoer was reported to have texted his wife from the top of Mount Strachan, one of the three peaks that comprise the Cypress Bowl, and informed her that he intended to travel to the parking lot from the summit. That was the last anyone heard from him until this morning.
Searchers combed the mountain looking for the man on Saturday evening and reportedly found his tracks at about 11:30 p.m. High winds on Strachan Mountain were described as “scrubbing” the tracks out, causing rescuers to lose his trail. The search was called off at that point and reported to have been restarted at 7 a.m. this morning, according to CKNW.
Avalanche conditions are reported to prevail in the area, which had heighted the rescue team’s concerns about the man’s safety. The man was said to be prepared for winter conditions by Mike Danks, a team leader with North Shore Rescue.
“Currently the avalanche conditions are getting progressively worse… we understand he is quite prepared, so that’s a good thing there.”
The West Vancouver Police had attempted to locate that man’s cellphone. However, since the last text he sent to his wife, the phone appeared to have been turned off or the battery has died.
Cypress Mountain was the venue for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics freestyle skiing and snowboard events. Cypress and neighboring Mount Seymour are accessible by public transit for residents of the Metro Vancouver area.
North Shore Rescue was formed in 1965 with the mandate of providing “civil defense activities” during the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War era, the team transitioned into providing search and rescue operations in the rugged North Vancouver mountains.
According to Wikipedia, North Shore Rescue performs a yearly average of 79 rescue operations. It is uncommon for snow to fall and remain on the ground in the City of Vancouver, at the foot of the mountains, in the winter months. However, weather at the top of the mountains located north of Vancouver is notoriously prone to wild swings, high winds, and blizzard-like conditions.
The proximity of the mountains to the Vancouver metropolitan area is a mixed blessing; while allowing residents access to recreational activities like hiking, camping, and skiing within close proximity, more than one group has found themselves in need of rescue after becoming lost in the rugged terrain. Steep cliffs and mountain faces have also been responsible for many falls, necessitating helicopter rescues.
Just last month, a 40-year-old snowboarder from Surrey went missing after entering a restricted area on Cypress Mountain. His body was found near a creek west of the ski area one week after being reported lost, as reported by the CBC.
[Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images]